Ed Driscoll

Childhood's Do-Over

Apparently at some point, society concluded that the courts could be used to hit the CTRL-ALT-DLT key on the worst aspects of growing up:

The University of Manitoba said it is reviewing its policy on how to accommodate students with disabilities despite winning a victory in court this week over a controversial decision to grant a PhD to a student who failed his courses due to “extreme exam anxiety.”

And in America:

Raised in a $1.5 million Barrington Hills, Ill., home by their attorney father, two grown children have spent the last two years pursuing a unique lawsuit against their mom for “bad mothering” that alleges damages caused when she failed to buy toys for one and sent another a birthday card he didn’t like.

But then, that assumes that one ever outgrows childhood:

Let Barack Obama explain things: “I see some young people in the audience,” began the president at one of his “town hall meetings” in Ohio.

Not that young. For he assured them that, under ObamaCare, they’d be eligible to remain on their parents’ health coverage until they were twenty-six.

The audience applauded.

Why?

Because, as the politicians say, “it’s about the future of all our children.” And in the future we’ll all be children. For most of human history, across all societies, a 26-year-old has been considered an adult—and not starting out on adulthood but well into it. Not someone who remains a dependent of his parents, but someone who would be expected to have parental responsibilities himself. But not anymore. Sure, come your twenty-seventh birthday, it’ll be time to move out of your parents’ insurance agency—at least until Obama’s next piece of child-friendly legislation. But till then, here’s looking at you, kid.

This ought to be deeply insulting to any self-respecting 26-and-a-halfyear-old. As for the rest of us, the kind of society in which 26-year-olds are considered children is a society in decline—in economic decline, cultural decline, spiritual decline, in demographic decline (as Europe already is), in terminal decline. The western world lives increasingly in a state of deferred adulthood. We enter adolescence earlier and earlier and we leave it later and later, if at all.

And if we’re unhappy with the experience, why not litigate?